ONE, a global organization that lobbies for the end of poverty, boasts more than 2 million members world wide. Over 500 of those members reside in the city of Davis.
Martha Wright, the vice president of the UC Davis chapter of ONE and a junior environmental sciences and management major, said she firmly believes that through ONE, every person’s voice can make a difference.
“ONE is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, global organization that fights global poverty. It’s an advocacy organization; we use people’s voices instead of their money to make a difference,” Wright said.
Through signing petitions, sending e-mails and utilizing the Internet, members of ONE go all the way to the top of the political chain to get their message across.
“We push both national and global leaders to follow through with what they promised to do. If they’ve promised to allot a certain part of the budget to fighting poverty, then we hold them to that,” Wright said.
ONE offers universities the chance to join in on the fight against global poverty. The ONE Campus Challenge is a nationwide competition to raise awareness about the organization. The UC Davis chapter competed against over 2,000 other schools and achieved national acclaim for being one of the top 10 universities in the nation.
“When we joined ONE in November of 2008, we were school number 130. We pushed ourselves to be in the top 10 universities and we are now school number five,” Wright said.
The UC Davis chapter received a $1,000 grant to continue to raise awareness for coming in fifth place in the challenge. With that grant, ONE held a celebration of Davis as a city of ONE, and the mayor officially proclaimed Davis to be a city of ONE.
The ONE Campus Challenge determines a school’s position through a point system, in which membership growth and participation result in points.
“There are challenges to show creativity. The more uniqueness that [your club] can bring to raise awareness gets you points. [For example] putting an advertisement in a unique spot will get you points,” said Sukhjit “Kenny” Hans, a member of ONE and a junior double-majoring in economics and communication.
UC Davis ONE uses a variety of means to get their message out, such as advertisements posted on the Unitrans buses as well as in the Silo Union. The club got national recognition for using Facebook.com to raise awareness of global issues.
“We were nationally recognized for a petition to stop the struggle in Zimbabwe that resulted from the recent election. [The petition] was pushing the leaders of the AU to help the Zimbabwe government in order to rectify the situation there. We used our Facebook statuses, AIM, anything to raise awareness,” Wright said.
Liz Boswell, an undeclared first year, said that joining ONE is perhaps the easiest way for her opinions to be heard.
“I just recently got involved, and [ONE] made it so easy [to do so].… You can just sign a petition, and be done. You can be as involved as you want to be,” Boswell said.
Wright hopes that all citizens of Davis will let their voices be heard by joining ONE.
“We have roughly 30,000 students on campus and 30,000 members of the Davis community. It would be an amazing thing to get all 60,000 people to join ONE,” Wright said.
For more information, e-mail email@example.com or visit ONE.org.
Potential members can join also join the ONE – Davis Chapter Facebook group.
MEGAN ELLIS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.